Adventures in Flowering Part Two

Howdy, y’all 😸Today is a day off for me and I’m feeling kinda reflective and sort of trippy and surreal all at once. This is not at all to say that I’m feeling bad, just in a deeply contemplative headspace. I’ve been out as a Transgender Woman officially since 2-19-2018. Ten months later after seeing my Gender therapist a few times I began feminizing hormone therapy. It’s already done quite a bit at not even nine months yet but more crucial than any physical change it’s given me (don’t get me wrong, I freaking LOVE my Breasts🌷) is what it’s done for my mental health.

I struggled with mental illness in my early years and teens, but it was mostly functional until after high school. I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 22. After getting taken to the psych unit by the police. Yeah. I had first really started feeling trans(though I didn’t really fully understand what I was experiencing at the time) around this time and basically I allowed collective social pressures to push my inner girl back into the closet for nearly thirteen more years.

I was in and out of hospitals a lot in my twenties and I was a freaking MESS. Gender dysphoria clearly wasn’t the only thing messing with my head but it was damned sure a major factor. The first few years I was with my boyfriend I know my mental illness was pretty frightening to him. But he and so many people I know have told me that they have seen a remarkable change for the positive in my psyche in the time I’ve been on HRT. My therapists have also made similar comments. Before I was transitioning and on HRT my boyfriend wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to handle me long term but he’s been a truly amazing and supportive ally on this journey. I’m still bipolar and bad days are going to come but things are nowhere near as dark and hopeless feeling as they used to be. In many ways it feels like estradiol has sort of rewired my brain. Some things that seem trivial absolutely cut through me with explosive force now. It really doesn’t take much these days to make me cry but….I’m slowly but surely making more sense of my emotions and my weird impulses.

So what’s changed? My breasts are up to a B cup though until just a week or so ago I hadn’t noticed the nipples getting much bigger, hopefully more progesterone will help 🌷), my skin is the absolute softest it’s ever been, Estradiol has virtually eliminated most of my unwanted body hair and I’m definitely noticing a little more ‘Girl’ in my face these days. I over analyze the hell out of that last part. I just have a lot of anxiety about it sometimes because I doubt I’d ever be able to afford Facial Feminization Surgery and I’m hoping the HRT proves to be sufficient. I feel kinda stupid admitting that but yeah, sometimes I think ‘Am I ever going to look convincingly female?’ I hate to say it(because shit like that just reinforces bullshit stereotypes)but I take a lot of shit and sometimes I just long so hard to blend in a little. I know my femininity is adequate enough and so am I, but my voice still clocks me instantly, face is a little better at almost 9 months.

Still, even with Spiro making me dumb and confused and loopy, life is a LOT better than pre Transition. I used to freak out and be obsessive when I couldn’t find something or whatever. Nowadays I’m just like ‘Oh well’. The main thing messing with me right now is my working life. Not really making enough money on the beach and not wanting to get too involved with looking for jobs until I have my legal stuff signed in blood(I’m sick of how awkward the name thing makes interviews). Anyhow, that stuff IS moving along as I have a phone appointment with the lawyer TOMORROW. I mean, I’ve at least made it this far, which I never thought possible. My family hasn’t thrown me away. In fact we’re pretty tight these days! Things aren’t great with my Dad but… We shall see. I’ve lost some friends but the ones that stuck by me are closer than ever as well as many new ones emerging. I haven’t yet made it through but I’m staying the fucking course here. I still have moments when I pause and just start weeping joyfully because I’m actually fucking out of the cage I spent 35 years in🀘

I’ve been trying to find some way to get involved with activism. I guess I need to call Equality Florida again, they never called me back about me volunteering. It would also be good if I started going to Metro in Clearwater. I am HURTING for some local community or at least a few local friends.

*sigh*I really wish HRT appointments weren’t six months apart. I wanna ask my endocrinologist about switching to injectable estrogen, and find out about referrals for surgical consultation for at least an orchiectomy because this spironolactone stuff is REALLY cramping my style(and basic reasoning). Time to make a list of things to ask the doctor in DECEMBER *sigh*

So aside from all that stuff I’m doing pretty well with the RA stuff lately. Relatively low pain though still a bit fatigued lately. I have an infusion Thursday followed by lunch with my Man and Mom and Aunt Mary so YAY! That’ll be good fun 🀘

As y’all can see, my new hat is still extremely new and exciting to Me 🀣

Anyhow, I’m going to go enjoy some of my fabulous medical cannabis now and have Me some quality time with my Darling Man😍

With copious amounts of Morbid Flower Girl Love:

Lily Jane 🌷

Lily’s 37th Summer πŸŒ·

It’s not quite over yet but enough has transpired that I feel reasonably confident in doing a retrospective post here. I mean, let’s be honest, I live in Florida. Summer began a WHILE ago. Even after the season supposedly changes, I’ll still be here wiping the sweat as I walk my Dog until probably at least October or so. All that aside, it’s time to tell my story as long as the first estradiol of the day is pleasantly hitting my brain 😁

The two events that really marked the start of Summer for me were St. Pete Pride and seeing my Endocrinologist for a Six months follow up visit. The Doctor had some blood taken, gave me my gender dysphoria letter, and prescribed progesterone even though not a huge believer in it. He did decide to humor me and let me try it, though. So that was a very fruitful visit and I see him again in December. As I mentioned, St. Pete Pride was in June itself and a week or so after I saw my Endocrinologist. Around this time I had started working out every morning. I was planning to dress a bit scandalously and well, I wanted to look fit lol. Mind you I’d been on the Progesterone for a week or so now. Steadily losing belly fat and whatnot. It should be noted that I didn’t start on progesterone. We started with Provera(medroxyprogesterone)and for three days I was fucking BATSHIT climbing up the walls. Called the Endocrinologist and they switched it to the bioidentical Progesterone and I figured that was it because the new stuff made me far less nuts.

I’m not going into too much detail about St. Pete Pride in this post (though it was amazing and spectacular) because I’m planning to do a post specifically about that subject soon but a couple highlights included being quoted and described in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday paper article about Pride🌈, getting mad crazy compliments on our outfits, and meeting LOTS of cool people! 🀘

So all this was happening and it was really cool but…. I was starting to have massive trouble with anxiety and being spastic and jumpy. Thankfully my Rheumatoid Arthritis was relatively well controlled while all this stuff was happening. Dealing with that on top of the other stuff would have crushed me for sure. So I anxiously got through July and work being a basket case until… It was time for my Birthday Vacation…. To Ft. Lauderdale….. (Right after I saw my shrink and explained that I thought my meds were starting to crap out and ‘Could we add some Lithium pls?’ which he thankfully obliged.)

Off from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale we went To see IRON FUCKING MAIDEN ON MY 37TH BIRTHDAY (THANK YOU MUCH, METAL GODSπŸ’‹)!!! The Trip itself was mostly fun… But verrrrry nervous (which I’ll get to)

Here’s my Birthday set list:

Iron Maiden: Sunrise BB&T Center, Florida – July 18, 2019

1. Aces High
2. Where Eagles Dare
3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
4. The Clansman
5. The Trooper
6. Revelations
7. For The Greater Good Of God
8. The Wicker Man
9. Sign Of The Cross
10. Flight Of Icarus
11. Fear Of The Dark
12. The Number Of The Beast
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Evil That Men Do (Encore)
15. Hallowed Be They Name (Encore)
16. Run To The Hills (Encore)

It was AMAZING. For the first track they had a replica Spitfire hanging over the stage, for some songs they had the Eddie tinged Iconography, Eddie came out and fought Bruce during The Trooper, and in one song Bruce had FLAME THROWERS on his arms! I had seen this Band once before so I had some idea of what to expect but..

They must have been really well rested or just done a bunch of speed because they fucking ROARED for every song in this show. Faster than usual and absolutely stunning technically. Best goddamned Metal show AND Birthday of my life from my absolute FAVORITE Band. When the last encore finished and people began to get up and move about and leave…. Well… I had fucking tears of joy and all I could think was how much I loved my Man for making it all possible and how unbelievably joyful I was in that moment. I’m literally tearing up just replaying it in my head right now 😒

So the show was incredible. And we had a lot of fun in the surrounding area since we were there for three days. Everything was pretty smooth coming back but as soon as I started working again my bipolar issues started raging. I started easing off the exercise, thinking that was making me manic. My man and I got sick when we got back in Clearwater. His cleared up, mine became pneumonia and around this time I finally stopped taking progesterone altogether because I was certain that was what was making me crazy. I was trying to get used to it for forty days until I was finally like ‘NO MORE!’.

Over the next week or two I slowly started feeling sane again and gradually less moody and hair triggery. Then I’m talking to a Trans Friend on Instagram one day and She said ‘You’re supposed to cycle progesterone ten days on, twenty days off. That’s seriously negligent that neither the doctor nor the pharmacy told you!” (Thanks again, Sophie Marie! ❀) .

So yeah, I took four months worth of progesterone in forty days. I feel like an idiot of course. But it’s true, neither the doctor nor the pharmacist gave me instructions and the bottle said to take daily. Even with established trans care providers, stuff like this happens. But whatever, at least I didn’t get so loopy I had to get hospitalized

I’m back to working out almost every morning now, but I’m going a little easier. I’m almost done with my second cycle of progesterone (now that I have the proper fucking instructions) and I’ve got an absolutely amazing new Trans Girl friend I’ve been having a BLAST πŸ’₯ texting and bantering with latelyπŸ€—πŸ™πŸŒˆ. I wish I knew more people to do stuff with in Clearwater but I am indeed grateful beyond words for my online family. Facebook consistently pissed me off to the point of jumping ship but Instagram and WordPress were both far too dear to me to part with and still are.

I made a Battle Purse too, and am proceeding with my pink Battle Outfit project too🀘

In other news, my Man finally saw his Physician. It had been like a year. His Doctor is transitioning to male and He gave us the number of a local lawyer who does transition related legal stuff pro Bono so I’m waiting for a call back from her office about doing my name and gender change SOON! The cool part is, I’ve been looking for a new Trans friendly primary care Doctor because I’ve been just seeing specialists for the last year or so. So I’m going to see about getting an appointment with my Man’s doctor because he’s local and I think he takes my insurance 🀘

Grateful for having my RA under control. Trying to do a bit of work on the rest of MeπŸ’‹

Cheers!

-Lily Jane 🌷

A rough and complicated patch….

Is about the most accurate description I can give of the current state of my existence. Scattered, sick, worn down, and more than a bit hysterical have all been fitting at various points in the last few weeks.

I’ll be real, I’m having a very hard time with my mental health lately and it’s been complicated by the physical health issues. Not making enough money because I haven’t been able to maintain a full schedule with either my RA/bipolar stuff going crazy or ‘Shit! Pneumonia again?!?!’ or other people being nasty to me I’m just…. burned out and having an increasingly difficult time getting myself motivated.

Part of this is due to me screwing up things with my progesterone experience. I feel stupid but neither the doctor nor the pharmacy said anything about cycling it for ten days on, twenty days off. I took it for forty days straight and I’m still dealing with the emotional fallout. I know it isn’t always true but most of the time it feels like everyone is laughing at me. I try to deaden myself to that sort of thing but a lot of people I run into are mean. I do my best to rise above or whatever but…. It’s still a tough crowd. Between missing so much work and feeling worthless and unreliable on one side and trying to stop crying over Every little nonsensical thing the last few months have been really intense. At least there was a great deal of fun in there as well. Maiden on my Birthday was the absolute experience of a LIFETIME!!!!! 🀘

Doing my best lately but it isn’t really feeling sufficient. I need to figure something out for work soon because it’s already August and the beach is about to hit that post Summer lull. Getting out of the house today was a good move. Even if all I did was stroll to Starbucks and get a cup of lousy corporate tea and type on my WordPress app.

The bright spots are still numerous. Made some really cool new Trans friends on the Insta and I’m grateful as ever for my huge online LGBTQ family. The last couple days have been kinda hard for me with my sleep getting in a really strange rhythm until I finally broke it and slept for about 12 hours. Last night got pretty damned wacky for me mentally but I obviously needed the sleep.

I’m not going into too much detail about what I was freaking about. Just that I take a lot of shit from strangers and for a time I considered giving up on myself and my transition. I hate admitting that because I’m usually so strong willed about being Lily but…between still easing off from essentially being in a state of progesterone fueled madness on top of RA adding it’s own share of anxiety and pain and I just cracked last night. Until I took my estradiol, of course. I still feel ridiculous because well…. I don’t know. Anyhow, I know society is gonna be a jackass no matter what so I might as well live my truth. I just have to admit this transitioning stuff (plus being a spoonie) is a lot harder than I thought. I’ve usually not had too much trouble with self doubt but…. Last night was ugly. I cracked and terrified myself 😒

My whole life I’ve always had a badass work ethic and…everything just wears me out so much harder than it used to. Part of it is losing strength from HRT but another part is just an internal voice screaming that it’s time to try something new. But going off HRT is NOT on the table. I just need to get my damned emotions under control. Apparently I have a hell of a lot of work left to do on myself. I mean, I know and accept my life is going to be hard. Just having a harder than usual time processing everything l. It makes me cry a lot when so many people treat me like garbage because I really try to be a decent and thoughtful person. People picking on me as a kid kinda made a jerk out of me in my younger years but anymore I’m just trying my best to be and spread peace. I don’t always succeed but… I’m really trying to be a better person these days.

Doing my best to stay pleasant and positive today. While I’m sure this post is a total downer, it’s been REALLY super good for my psyche at least in that it’s helped me sort my thoughts a little. The day is relatively pain free so far and I’m going to try to be fruitful πŸ’‹

Always,

Lily Jane 🌷